How To Clean A Foam Mattress

How To Clean A Foam Mattress - UK (2022)

Written by Nicky

Last updated: 19.07.2022

5 Min.

Sleeping on a high-quality and comfortable foam mattress is an absolute joy. That is, until you accidentally spill coffee on it or your beloved pet has a bit of an "accident".

At first, it may seem impossible to clean a foam mattress. But, don’t worry. We at Sleep Hero are here to help - and we’ll show you have to clean your foam mattress!

Nowadays, most foam mattresses have a removable cover, which can easily be machine-washed. But sometimes a stain is bad enough to seep into the actual mattress. Or perhaps your foam mattress doesn’t have a removable cover, as is often the case with older models.

In this case, ask yourself:

  1. Have you had your mattress for less than 8 years?
  2. Do you really like your mattress?

If you’ve answered “yes” to both of these questions, then continue reading. If not, then perhaps it may be time to buy a new mattress. Read our reviews to help you find the perfect one.

Clean A Foam Mattress

Steps to cleaning a foam mattress

The good news is that a foam mattress can definitely be cleaned. If you follow our instructions, then you should get great results. All you need are a few household items and about 1-2 hours of time. Then, just let your mattress dry thoroughly for 1-2 days.

You'll need:

  • A vacuum cleaner with a soft brush attachment
  • Laundry detergent
  • Spray bottle
  • White wine vinegar
  • Hairdryer or fan
  • Tarp
  • Water

Step 1: Use a vacuum cleaner

First, you should vacuum the entire surface of your foam mattress with either a hand vacuum cleaner or your normal vacuum cleaner with a soft brush attachment. A lightweight cordless stick vacuum cleaner that is easy to lift also works well. This removes surface fluff, dust, and dirt, and prevents these from penetrating deeper into the mattress. It is easier to vacuum your mattress if you lay it on the floor next to the bed our outside on a flat surface (use a tarp to protect your mattress from more dirt).

Step 2: Cleaning solution one

Fill a spray bottle with half a cup of laundry detergent and a cup of water. Shake well so that the detergent mixes properly with the water.

Take your mattress outside and lay it on a tarp. Spray the solution on the entire mattress, including the sides and bottom. Let it soak for 30 to 45 minutes and rinse the mattress thoroughly using a hosepipe.

Step 3: Cleaning solution two

Next, fill the spray bottle with 1/4 cup of white wine vinegar and 3/4 cup of water. Shake the solution well and then spray on the entire foam mattress. Again, rinse with a hosepipe. Once clean, gently press on the mattress to remove excess water. Take care not to twist or fold the mattress as this can cause permanent damage.

Step 4: Let the mattress dry

You can use a fan or a hairdryer every few hours to help speed up the drying process. Otherwise, allow the mattress to air-dry outdoors on a warm day or indoors in a well-ventilated room. It can take up to two days for the foam to dry completely.

It may be a good idea to ask someone to help you clean your foam mattress. Foam mattresses easily absorb water and can become quite heavy. An extra set of hands can definitely be helpful.

Use dishwashing liquid

If you don't have the items listed above in our recommended step-by-step programme to cleaning a foam mattress, then you can also use your dishwashing liquid. For this, you need to pour 10 drops of conventional dishwashing liquid into 1L of hot water. Then, use a washcloth or sponge to clean the surface of the mattress. Rinse your sponge regularly between washes and wash until the stain has been removed. Finally, use dry towels to remove excess water and moisture from the mattress, then let it air dry.

Eliminate stubborn stains

For stubborn stains, you may need to clean your mattress with ammonia. However, several precautions must be taken as ammonia can be toxic.

If you use ammonia, you must do so in a very well-ventilated room. To protect yourself, it is also necessary to wear gloves, protective glasses, and a mask.

Dilute 5 to 10 cL of ammonia in 1 litre of hot water. Use a sponge to rub stubborn stains with the mixture. Once all the stains have been removed, clean your mattress with dishwashing liquid or detergent as per our previous instructions. Rinse and air dry as above.

Rub encrusted stains with this liquid. Once all the stains have been treated, clean your mattress with washing-up liquid or with our mixture of washing-up liquid and detergent.

Removing blood stains

The longer you wait, the more difficult it will be to remove blood stains from your mattress. Try to clean your mattress as quickly as possible.

To remove a blood stain from your mattress, we recommend that you moisten the stain with a sponge or washcloth. Then, put an effervescent aspirin pill on it. Take an object, such as a glass or a spoon, and move the aspirin tablet in a circular motion over the stain. Then, moisten the area again to remove the aspirin particles.

For dry blood stains, you can also use hydrogen peroxide. Apply a few drops directly to the stain, and wash out with water. Be careful to not use too much as the product may damage your mattress.

Remove coffee stains

Coffee can severely stain your mattress and you have to act swiftly if you've accidentally spilled coffee. We would recommend using coarse salt or grains of rice. These will quickly absorb the moisture and coffee from the mattress. Do not wet your mattress before applying. You only need to place the products on the stain, wait for them to absorb the coffee, and then vacuum them off.

Remove urine stains

There is no special technique or secret way to remove a urine stain from your mattress. The main problem with urine is its odour, especially if its a urine stain from your pet. We would recommend washing your mattress as soon as possible with dishwashing liquid or detergent. You can also add essential oil to the water to help with the odour.

Remove bad odours

Do not spray perfume on your mattress to remove bad smells. We would recommend that you use baking soda.

Put a little baking soda on the surface of your mattress and let it sit for about 5 hours. Then, remove it using a clean brush and vacuum cleaner. You can also use essential oils when cleaning your mattress.

Disinfect your mattress

We highly recommend that you clean your mattress regularly, dry it well, and keep it in a well-ventilated room.

To disinfect a mattress, the sun is your best friend as it literally scares the mites away. You can also use tea tree essential oil to help disinfect your mattress. We recommend that you first clean your mattress with baking soda, which will neutralise bacteria. then, add a few drops (5 to 8, depending on the size of your mattress) of tea tree essential oil.


There are many best practices when it comes to cleaning your mattress.

Remember to never pour water directly on your mattress. Always use a sponge, towel, or washcloth that is wet but wrong out. It is important that your mattress doesn't soak up water.

We also recommend that you clean the entire surface of your mattress. If you only clean a part of it, you risk creating halos. Of course, you can always focus on a stubborn stain and then wash your entire mattress afterwards.

If your mattress is too old, stained, or worn out, you may need to dispose of it and buy a new one. Our mattress reviews will help guide you.


My mum calls me "bear" because I like to sleep so much. I never knew that, one day, that would be a very useful skill. Can you tell that I've found my calling? 

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